Licenses missing after Absolute 6 update

After updating to Absolute 6 and starting Cubase 12 Pro, when scanning I got a message saying licenses were missing or expired for several programs - Studio Strings, Hot Brass, Skylab and a couple others.
I spent 6 hours downloading the content again even though I never had a problem with them before.

After re-installing the content, I had to point Cubase to the files using the ‘locate’ tab.
It picked up all of them except Skylab, but that program, seems to work OK, even though
I still get the ‘license expired or missing’ message every time I load up Cubase.
Just posting this in case anyone else runs into something similar.

Despite the hassles, I;m loving Halion 7.
What a joy it is to run it without the dongle.

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Hi @felis,

well done, and thanks for posting this.
After recently upgrading to Absolute 6, I’ve had the same errors.

Just one small thing:
once one has acquired, used and activated the group license for Absolute Collection 6, any single licenses can’t technically be missing.

License missing” is just what HALion, Media Bay, Cubase and Activation Manager seem to be “thinking” upon loading an instrument, yet the reason behind any “single license” error in terms of Absolute 6 is: either some unregistered or outdated content files must be involved. That’s the easy part, since they just have to be downloaded and updated to their latest versions (or any missing file must be re-registered or replaced).

weeks ago, only the small companion *.vstsound files of most of the Absolute 4/5 instruments could be updated via SDA, one by one. (Please see Screenshot 1)
A simple task which I’d completed accordingly, “just in case”.

Some larger files of some HALion internal instruments were not updated, though - they still remained at version 1 (which isn’t compatible with Steinberg Licensing, only with eLicenser):

So these were the ones I had to update today:

Eagle (HALion)
197 v1 → v9
203 v1 → v8 <---------------------------

Hot Brass (HALion)
196 v2 → v9
202 v1 → v7 <---------------------------

Raven (HALion)
200 v1 → v7
204 v1 → v6 <---------------------------

Skylab (HALion)
198 v2 → v8
205 v1 → v6 <---------------------------

Studio Strings (HALion)
195 v2 → v8
201 v1 → v6 <---------------------------

(for all updated files, I’d written down which version of a *.vstsound file was getting replaced by its newest file version, and exactly by which version)

A few days later, HALion 7 and Absolute Collection 6 were published by Steinberg, sadly not much info was given about any specific *.vstsound updates. This is why I think that there should be a transparent / verbose version check function in SDA.

Within Steinberg Library Manager, some of the HALion instruments still had their larger content files at version 1, whereas mostly the smaller presets container files had already been raised from a lower version to a higher version (which, in the end, should enable the solitary use of Steinberg Licensing for any such instrument within HALion). So I was glad I’d taken some notes before.

all presets, like the ones in Skylab, could be seen and klicked, but then the following error got reported by self-opening Activation Manager: “License is missing” - then I had to check Library Manager.

As you’ve already figured out, in order to get all single instruments of the Absolute Collection 6 up and running with Steinberg Licensing only, one needs to download (and extract) the full content ISO with its 34,9 GB size - or instead needs to download all latest *.vstsound file versions via SDA, and then manually replace any of their outdated versions (29,56 GB in total). Which is indeed some tedious work.

HALion Sonic 7 Collection updates and downloads | Steinberg

Just as an example: for anyone who might encounter a non-working Skylab (HALion) etc., which is (are) expected to be run by Steinberg Licensing only:

   (Feb 16, 2023: updated from v2 -> v8)

   (March 1, 2023: updated from v1 -> v6)

(Please see Sceenshot 2)

Once all of this has been corrected, any Absolute 6 / HALion 7 instruments can now be opened perfectly in HALion standalone or in Cubase 12. Of course without having to use the USB eLicenser (which was still mandatory with HALion 6.4.4 and Absolute Collection 5).


(Screenshot 1)

(Screenshot 2)

So…are you saying that the bottom line is that I could have just updated those, instead of downloading everything again?

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Hi @felis,

firstly: thank you for marking my lengthy posting as the solution!

I suppose one could do exactly that if all the single sub-instruments for HALion / Groove Agent / Padshop / Retrologue were available as separate downloads - either on a separate Absolute 6 instrument / component website, or each one of them directly updateable in SDA (better, since the version check is included).

Sadly, the full package (SDA) or ISO (website) still needs to be downloaded.
Also, some of the HALion Sonic 4 factory content files are being updated from v1 to v2, so you’d need the full package anyway.

Additional idea:
perhaps Steinberg should really make a comprehensive catalogue of all those *.vstsound files (1) by category, (2) as related to an instrument (Skylab, Auron, Anima, etc), including (3) their respective versions, (4) and also if they can either be run by eLCC, or by Steinberg Licensing or both (“hybrid”).
Right now, there’s some lack of transparency.
Large portfolio and then constant changes…!

Best wishes,

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